Bobby got hurt not too long after we moved up to New York last year, so our show season was crammed into one month before being sidelined by lay up and recovery, and then one last show tacked on in October. We'd finished with a successful faux Training move-up, and I was ready to get down to the grind over the winter of working on everything I needed to come out swinging at that level in June.
Then I hurt my brain in January, and my confidence in myself and my horse's confidence in any and all things to do with me went right down the drain.
So I regrouped. I dropped the eventing plans for the year because stadium jumps
Winter gives you a lot of time to sit around and dream up magical show schedules. What else is there to do? Freeze your fucking lady balls off and peruse omnibuses. That is a horse girl's winter. I had a loooong list of shows planned out for the first half of my year, and a year-long goal to actually accomplish fancy shit and make another year of not hitting the Training goal worth it.
Once show season actually got here though, all the changes hit me at once. Being in a new state meant I knew none of the venues. I didn't really know how far they were, how easy or hard they were to drive to, what the venue was like, what the people were like, who I was going to be competing against, etc etc.
I definitely had my comfort zone and all the places that fit in it in PA. I never had to drive more than three hours to get to anywhere for a show, and I had my pick of where I wanted to go in that window almost every weekend. Most shows were one day and held on a Sunday so that I had Hubby to come down with me to take pictures and hang out. If I did hit a Saturday show, chances are that someone else from my barn was going too. That has apparently become what I expect out of showing, and anything else...just fucking sucks.
A lot of these dressage shows are on Saturdays, or if they're multi-day shows they start as early as Thursday or Friday. That rules Hubby out as he works six days a week from sun up to sun down during March-June (and sometimes into July). It's not that I can't show by myself because I've done it before and I know I'll do it again, but I like Hubby. I like hanging out with the guy, especially since I rarely get to see him in the spring. Horse shows are a thing we do together, and it's not the same doing one without him.
I also don't want to bother with a drive over three hours still. I can't afford overnight stabling for my horse or myself, so I have to haul in day-of. That means if I hit ride times of seven in the morning and one in the afternoon, that's at least a two a.m. wake up call for anything three hours away, and a long fucking day to make that drive home again.
Not worth it to me.
Really, that's what it all comes down to. The big goals and big accomplishments that come from attending big shows that are over multiple days and farther away than I want to travel just aren't worth it to me. I don't care enough to make that push out of my comfort level.
I want showing to be fun and relaxing, and I don't like to show by myself. A few less ribbons and a few more dollars saved never killed anyone.